There are many reasons to recruit Millennial real estate agents to your brokerage, but one of the best may be one of the simplest: Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. and make up the biggest percentage of first-time home buyers (42%).
In 2015, Millennials (ages 18-34) outnumbered Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) by half a million. This gap has only widened, and will continue to grow as the Boomer population declines; by 2036, the number of Millennials will reach its peak.
Like every other generation, Millennials want to do business with people they identify with. This often means working with people who are close in age and share similar worldviews. To the latter point, many Millennials were raised to value cooperation and avoid confrontation, making them wary of hard-sell tactics and marketing hype. And they’ve entered an economy where they are expected to earn less than the generation before them.
The desire to work with people with similar worldviews doesn’t only apply to home buyers, but to Millennial real estate agents as well. Here are some key qualities Millennials want in a brokerage.
1. Leadership that values the team. Whether or not a younger real estate agent works on a formally structured team, they want to work in an environment where collaboration is valued. To foster this environment, focus on empowering team members, praise members for showing initiative and equip them to do their best with the appropriate. True leadership means looking ahead strategically, trusting your team with autonomy, and outfitting the team with the technology and skills to do their best work.
2. Culture built around authenticity and impact. Sure, Millennials get teased for being the first generation where everyone on every sports team got a trophy. While this means that they can be cynical towards empty accolades, they are receptive to authenticity. They want a workplace culture where they can be part of something bigger–whether achieving goals as a group or making a difference in the community. If the number one goal at your brokerage is just to sell more houses than the brokerage down the street, Millennials will not want to work there.
3. Opportunity for a real career. The classic American plan for prosperity hasn’t worked out for most of this generation. In the past, graduating from college meant that you could expect to make more than your parents. But today, many Millennials are saddled with record levels of student debt and finding that the high-paying jobs they were promised simply don’t exist. This dearth of high-paying jobs makes real estate an attractive option, provided your brokerage offers Millennials a career with both financial and professional opportunity. Millennials want a job they will love.
While leadership that values the team, a culture of authenticity and impact, and opportunity for a real career are all qualities Millennial agents look for in a real estate brokerage, preferences differ by region. To get more specifics for your real estate market, invite some Millennials realtors for coffee and ask them what they’re looking for in a brokerage. Their way of thinking might be a little different from yours, but their insight will help you unlock selling to the dominant generation in the residential real estate market.